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Sept. 15, 2011 Volume 33, No. 4

Monsanto grant will fund plant-science research


Gift supports undergrad fellowship program

The University of Missouri has received a $100,000 grant from the Monsanto Co. to support student research in the plant sciences.

The $100,000 gift, to be distributed over the next three years, will be used to support a Monsanto Undergraduate Fellowship Program. The fellowship program will pay high-achieving undergraduate students up to $5,800 per year to do research in plant science laboratories at MU.

Students participating in the fellowship program will conduct an extended internship with a plant science research group, where they will participate in research projects, use advanced molecular and genetic methods, participate in fieldwork and attend lab meetings and seminars. Students will also interact with Monsanto scientific staff and apply for summer internships at the company.

“The goals of this fellowship program are to expose students to the breadth of research in the plant sciences as well as to prepare them to go on to advanced degrees or research careers in the ag-biotech industry,” said Robert Sharp, director of MU’s Interdisciplinary Plant Group, which will administer the fellowship program for the university.

Bob Reiter, biotechnology leader at Monsanto, said the grant signifies the company’s ongoing commitment to plant science research at MU.

“The success of farmers and agriculture tomorrow will hinge on investing in students and their pursuit of plant science research today,” Reiter said. “During these students’ lifetimes, global population is expected to hit 9 billion, placing tremendous pressure on agriculture production. These students have an extraordinary opportunity to positively impact our global future.”

Fellowships will be awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and an  interest in plant biotechnology, bioengineering, bioscience research or plant breeding.